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Saturday 2nd July 15:10 GMT

 

After a three week break for the Summer Internationals, Super Rugby returns this weekend, with a vital South African derby at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, between the Lions and the Sharks, on Saturday 2nd July. The Lions have enjoyed a terrific season to date, with nine wins from their 12 fixtures played prior to the break, with only the table topping Crusaders accumulating more points than the Johannesburg based outfit. Their record sees them head the combined African Group by 6 points from the Stormers with three rounds of the regular season remaining. Saturday'svisitors, the Sharks are a further point back.

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All three games that the Lions have lost in 2016 have all been against opponents from New Zealand, which may bode well for their chances of securing a place in the post-season play-offs, but may not say much for their chances of making progress through the knockout phase of the tournament. If the Natal Sharks can get a positive result on Saturday, they will become firm favourites to progress to the knockout phase of Super Rugby 2016 as one of the top four seeds, as they finish the season with home games against the struggling Cheetahs and Sunwolves. When the Sharks entertained the Lions earlier in the current campaign in Durban, the Lions scored the only two tries of the game and recorded a 24-9 victory.

Posted: 11th April 2015

 

The South African Conference is proving almost a straight as that of New Zealand, although for a very different reason. For the sides from the Republic, this season is proving every bit as difficult as the last, and although a mere two points cover four of the five contesting teams, none has lost fewer than three games this season, and not a single team from South Africa has yet managed to record more than four wins. However, that does mean that matches such as the Lions against the Natal Sharks on Saturday in Johannesburg take on extra importance, and have an even greater competitive edge to them, than they normally produce. The Lions made it four wins from their last five fixtures last weekend when they secured a late 22-18 win against the Bulls at Ellis Park, taking them up to 17 points alongside the Stormers, two points behind the Bulls, and Saturday's opponents the Sharks.

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Having completed their overseas tour, the Lions will feel well placed amongst their rivals, especially as they took three wins on the road in Australasia, at the Reds, Rebels and Blues. They will need to pick up their home results however, if they are to sustain a challenge for honours, two defeats on home soil already, to the Stormers 19-22 and the Hurricanes 8-22, needs to be improved on.

Posted: 12th April 2014

 

Despite having a bye in last week's round of Super Rugby matches, the Natal Sharks still lead the South African Conference, and indeed top the table itself, having suffered just a single defeat in the six matches that they have played this season. The Lions who have managed to record four wins from their seven games, sit just outside the wild card positions, as a consequence of their not having managed to score a single bonus point so far, either for scoring four tries in a game, or losing by seven points or less. However, if the Lions are to have any real hope of springing a surprise on Saturday, when they host the Sharks, they will have to produce a more lively and energetic performance than they did last week at Ellis Park Johannesburg, when they slipped to a disappointing 7-28 defeat to the Crusaders from New Zealand.

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The Sharks winger Odwa Ndungane is poised to start the game on Saturday, and if he does make an appearance for the Durban based franchise, he will become the fourth player in the Sharks squad to win his 100th Super Rugby cap for the club. The others to have already reached the milestone are; Bismarck du Plessis with 109 Sharks caps, Jacques Botes 114 and Jon-Paul Pietersen 101 Super Rugby caps.

Posted: 2nd June 2012

We have the Lions and the Natal Sharks facing off this week in Johannesburg in Super Rugby, with the match on Saturday, the 2nd of June, at 17:05 local time. The current leaders of the Australian and the New Zealand conferences are the Brumbies and the Chiefs, who have forty five and fifty three points respectively, but we find our two competitors this week in the South African Conference. The Lions are in the fifth spot, with just one game won out of the twelve that they have had the opportunity to play. That gives them fifteen points.

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As for the Sharks, they take the third spot at the moment, with eight wins out of twelve games played, with five losses and one bye. They have earned a total of forty five points and are followed on the table by the Cheetahs.


Tags: Super Rugby, Ellis Park, Lions, Natal Sharks, Odwa Ndungane, Jacques Botes
Posted: 2nd July 2016


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